Halloween feature 50 days, 50 slays! Day 42! The mother of the Psycho Killer! PSYCHO II

For the 42nd day of our count down to films to watch for the big day (HALLOWEEN that is!), we have landed the first of five franchise films in the list. PSYCHO II had an unenviable task. It was THE sequel to the mother of every low budget slasher film ever made. Its original writer had written a sequel novel (that this has no relation to). It was standing next to a masters work and was to be shot twenty years after its original. What it achieves is maybe a missed opportunity, but it is also an interesting film about the routes taken by horror and how sometimes its the little things that count.


Welcome back to the motel from hell. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is given the all clear and is released back into society. He moves directly from the mental institution where he was recuperating, to the Bates motel, where the murders he was imprisoned for, happened. On returning back to his motel, the memories of his mother and the people he killed, begin to haunt him. As they build, it feels to Norman that they are in fact hunting him and he has to act to stop them in their tracks.


In truth, I could over sell the film. I could make it more than the sum of its fears, so to speak. What there really is to drive you to view can be summed up in four reasons. These underline why this will work for Halloween. One – if you or someone you are watching with, love branded films. Two – If you or said someone like familiar horror troupes and conventions. Three – If you always wondered ‘What happened to Norman Bates’ and four – If the ability to shock in a measured and toned way, appeals to you.


Well its the usual. House. Mothers boy. Showers. Motels. You name it, well its kind of here. But for me it is the work of Richard Franklin. He directed PATRICK, an Australian exploitation master piece. He is also known for ROADGAMES (a film that got him this gig but one I find dull and dreary.) He makes the most Hitchcockian film after the master and does it very well.



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